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Ballast Point Brewing Company

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BEER AVG
3.99/5
Based on:
211 Beers
9,503 Reviews
Place Score: 92
Reviews: 63
Visits: 335
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: n/a
Taps: --
Bottles: --
Cask: N
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Brewery, Bar ]

10051 Old Grove Road Suite B
San Diego, California, 92131
United States
phone: (858) 695-2739

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @bpbrewing

Notes:
Place added by: BeerAdvocate

In addition to Ballast Point Brewing Company's Old Grove location, they still have brewing operations at their old location in the back of Home Brew Mart. You can get growlers/bottles and do tastings at both locations.
Home Brew Mart / Ballast Point
5401 Linda Vista Road, Suite 406
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 298-2337

Ballast Point also runs tasting hours at the brewery. Please check their website for details.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 63 | Visits: 335
Photo of DoubleJ
4.19/5  rDev +0.7%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Tucked inside an industrial complex is Ballast Point Brewing. It doesn't have a proper parking lot for customers, so you'll need to search for a spot on the street. Once that's done, open the door and check out the 20 taps of beers being served, plus a cask which is used on Thursdays. Despite a drab environment outside the building, the interior has life. A handful of tables sit on the other side of the tasting room, and the bar, while very large in size, didn't have any seats. Additional seating is just outside.

Ballast Point's portfolio is not only long, but diverse. Regulars such as Sculpin, Black Marlin, Wahoo, and Calico are available in 4 ounce, 8 ounce, and full pint servings are reasonable prices. Variations of their year round beers, such as Calico on nitro, or Black Marlin with cocoa and peppers, make occasional appearances. Lesser known/limited release beers were spotted too (Brother Levonian, Ingrid's 1 in 8, Piper Down, Even Keel). Ballast Point used a large chalice to go along with the standard shaker pint, so it was nice to see a small change in utilized glassware.

Looking to try new Ballast Point beers? Visiting the brewery is one easy way to try a number of new beers in one place without having to hunt them down around San Diego. For the Ballast point fan, a stop is obligatory. (1,319 characters)

Photo of GJ40
4.16/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I stopped in at Ballast Point while in San Diego on vacation (the Old Grove Road location which I hear is the main brewing facility).

They have a great little tasting room and also sell bottles, growlers and kegs to go. It's a bit more than a tasting room as you can order samplers, pints, etc. but it's not quite a pub (for example, there's no seating). I just stopped in for a quick visit so I'm not sure how long you're welcome to stay and drink. They had the standard offerings on tap (Yellowtail, Calico, Big Eye, Marlin & Wahoo) along with a four specials including Even Keel, a 3.5% session beer that has lots of flavor. They didn't offer Sculpin or Dorado on tap.

They sell bottles of the usual along with Sculpin and Dorado. I'd been hunting for Sculpin for quite some time so I picked up six. I think they limit the sale of those to a case.

They did have some merchandise on display including shirts and glasses but I would have like to see more.

Ballast Point is well worth a visit if you're in the area. (1,019 characters)

Photo of Yetiman420
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

I did a three day brewery, brewpub, beer bar tour of San Diego and Ballast Point was one of my stops.

I made the mistake of thinking that the "beer bar" distinction on BA meant they would have a wide(r) variety of beers than just their standard offerings. The only beer they had that may have been out of the norm was an India Pale Lager.

I sampled a couple of the beers. I think they were $1 a taste. The tasting room was pretty small. No seats but a couple of repurposed barrel end tables to stand at and a nice large screen TV for the NFL game.

A tour was wrapping up and I tried to ask the tour guide about their hop profile and he said he didn't know and really didn't express any interest in chatting with me.

I was informed at my other beer stops that the other Ballast Point location (with the homebrew shop) was where they were more likely to do small, one off pilot batches of experimental brews. (914 characters)

Photo of MilwaukeeCrusher
4.66/5  rDev +12%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.75 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

Unfortunately I didn't get to do a tour, but I did visit Ballast Point's tap room here. It was probably the wrong time of day (afternoon) but it seemed more vacant than I expected. The servers seemed more knowledgeable than others I have talked to in other breweries and the Ballast Point quality was definitely there... I just wished I had a chance to try some of their off seasonal offerings. Definitely worth a visit to a beer tourist, just make sure to not forget to take a tour like I did. (494 characters)

Photo of crossovert
4.14/5  rDev -0.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Stopped here on a busy Friday night. The brewery was under construction so no tours.

They have about 20 taps, all Ballast Point beers, and not just the usual suspects. You can have a sampler of any beer for 2.00. I was on a tour of various breweries so I got to choose 6. Plenty of pepper and BA variations along with most of the staples, if not all of their regular lineup.

It definitely was a popular spot so yes it does get crowded but I got pretty prompt service. There is also a deck area outside which recently opened and looked pretty nice. (549 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.85/5  rDev -7.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

The location was a little tough to find. Sort of in an office park. The beer selection is solid. The service was top notch. The server constantly provided me with samples and wanted to make sure I was able to try as many of their brews as possible since I was just passing through ans live 3000 miles away. I felt the beers were good though no one beer really stood out to me to mention here. That being said, I enjoyed them all and if they were available/distributed in my area, I would definitely continue to purchase their product. Overall the service really stood out to me. (578 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.59/5  rDev -13.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 2.5 | selection: 4

This place was packed when we first got there, but realized shortly after that there was a brewery tour about to begin, so it emptied out once the tour started. Tours are free and they run 3 times a day, which is nice. The place had a great set-up, and with big window fronting was very well lit. There were plenty of displays for the beers and memorabilia they had for sale, as well as ads for their distillery and spirits. There was a tv with the game on, too. Also, they had some of their trophies from the GABF and some Euro competitions. With all this going for the place, the service was a bit of a let down. As I said, the crown died down pretty quick, so it wasn't as if it was really busy. When getting beers the servers were friendly and helpful enough, and even chatted up about different things, but we tried a different beer each time coming up, and had to ask each time up that our glass be rinsed before the next beer was put in. And this wasn't a case of them thinking they were just refills. Each time as we approached they asked what we just had, what we thought, and what we wanted next. I'm sorry, but I don't want to taste the remnants of the Amber in the next glass of IPA...that kind of defeats the purpose. Other than that, I really have no complaints about the place whatsoever. The prices were very reasonable and the beer was decent. All in all a good place to visit in San Diego when taking in the beer experience! (1,442 characters)

Photo of ThreeWiseMen
3.14/5  rDev -24.5%
vibe: 1.5 | quality: 4 | service: 2 | selection: 4

Stopped in here on Sunday around 1:00pm with my good friend, Justin.

I'm surprised this is listed as a "Beer Bar" on BA. It's a tasting room, nothing more. There are half a dozen small tables, but no chairs. When we were there, the place was absolutely silent: no music, no noise from the TV, no talking from the bartenders. It was a bit awkward. When one of the bartenders eventually spoke up (I believe he was a trainee), he seemed to know very little about craft beer, and couldn't offer us any recommendations on places to go... other than Lost Abbey because they have a hot bartender who works Sundays. Cool brah.

Luckily, the beer was solid. We sampled Dorado Double, Tongue Buckler, Sextant Oatmeal Stout, and Sculpin. They were all very tasty and reasonably priced. The cooler offered most of BP's year-round offerings along with Victory at Sea (which Justin grabbed two of).

All in all, this place kinda sucked. Actually, it did suck - forget the "kinda". This is a decent spot to refill your Ballast Point growler. It's a lousy spot for anything else. If you're considering a visit, reconsider. (1,107 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4

I stopped here Saturday morning as the first stop on the most recent San Diego brewery run.

The place is fairly unassuming from the outside and you wouldn't necessarily know it was a brewery if you just happened to drive by. Once inside, though, the nautical theme of Ballast Point is in full effect. I especially like the "barrel" bar tables.

There is a small tasting bar with 9 taps and a hand pump (which was not in operation). Next to the bar is the cooler with bottles for purchase. The prices on the bottles are quite good, much lower than I generally pay at bottle shops.

The growler and draft prices are fair and I like the fact that they offer a few different sized growlers, although I don't see myself ever purchasing a 1 gallon growler of anything.

The young lady tending the bar was quite nice and talkative, and was very helpful to us and the other patrons.

A cool place to check out, but not necessarily much to do there. The inside is also fairly small, so I would imagine that it can get cramped when they are busy. (1,037 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
3.86/5  rDev -7.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

Was out there for my bday on a brewery tour in SD and had the better looking tasting room of the 4 breweries I hit that day. Not only was it nce astetically but there was some coo peeps chillin having a good time having fun brewery hoppin as well. The selection was most of their year round brews plus some rotating tap only brews that I was glad to take a stab at since they don't bottle it. All around the brewpub was quality and the people there qwere pretty nice too. Definitely glad I got the chance to visit them and recommend this spot if your down in SD brewery hopping. (578 characters)

Photo of chinchill
4.26/5  rDev +2.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Large corner location.
About 30 beers available, many of which are not available elsewhere.
Not inexpensive, but high quality beer and food.
Beer flights 3/$5 are available and popular.
Standard and innovative beers spanning a large variety of styles.
Weak spots are: too loud and can be hard to park. (305 characters)

Photo of Retsinis
4/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Been meaning to post my review of Ballast Point. Visited with a group of friends as part of a beer brewery tour of our own design. (rented van, DD, etc.) After having visited Alesmith and Hess, this was the next stop.

Thankfully when we were there, they had Victory at Sea on tap, which is one of my favorites of their offerings, (also like Habanero Sculpin and Sea Monster of course) So of course, it was the first taster I ordered.

The tasting room is rather small, about the size of space you would see in a medium sized Subway (restaurant). No chairs, just a few tables. They have whats on tap just above the bar on a chalk board, where they also list the ABV, and IBU's of each beer. Had to seperately for each taster, and they don't do flights either ( at least not when I was there)

Picked up a bottle of fresh Sculpin while I was there too, since they were out of Victory at Sea, also got a T-Shirts for their Three Sheets Rum, since they were also out of T-Shirts of Victory at Sea (obviously it's popular)

Service was friendly, and prompt. It was a bit busy when I was there, but no one had to wait long at all to get a fill either.

Had a brief but good time. (1,179 characters)

Photo of dexterk1
4.12/5  rDev -1%
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

Great brewery! That is the fist and most important reason to visit this place. Simple interior with small tap room. Many beers to try with an ability to try some of there rare beers as well. Did the tour. It was interesting and pretty engaging as far as brewery tours go.
When we were there they were grilling outside and had some game sausage. Staff is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. (386 characters)

Photo of Erdinger2003
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

I was confused at first by the parking situation as it's a little cramped and it shares space with other businesses in a strip mall. Once we got fairly safely parked and went in it was surprising to see so many home-brew supplies in one spot. There were high ceilings and big windows and all the walls were lined with Ballast Point Merchandise as well as a lot of brewing supplies. The service was OK, but it could just be the California attitude, I'm not sure. Also it was the first time on my trip from Iowa where I had someone take my ID and put it on a little clipboard and check off how many samples I had, but I guess the laws are much different in California. (666 characters)

Photo of dvmin98
4.3/5  rDev +3.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5

Growing up in San Diego and loving beer, when I came back for a visit, I had to hit the place where all the magic happens. Hopped by there in July '12

Located in an industrial park near Mirmar

Cool little tap room. Lots of stand up tables and a nice wooden bar. Can see the vats in the back.

I think they had about 15-20 items on tap. I did a flight plus a couple extras. As usual, the quality of the brews was awesome. BP always has great stuff, and to get it right where its made is even better.

I ate too much Indian food before I got there, otherwise I would have had a few more selections, but I was stuffed. (617 characters)

Photo of djaeon
4.31/5  rDev +3.6%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4

This review is for the Old Grove location.

It's a small tasting bar, which is nice for a small brewery. They have several wood barrel top tables and some nice ocean themed art on the walls. I can understand not having seating because it is a small tasting room. They always have a good selection of their beers for tasters and you can do individual tastings, or flights. They have a standard beer flight, a special beer flight, or both. You can also get full pints as opposed to the small tasters, if you're so inclined. The service has been top notch every time I've been there. Very friendly bar staff.

(Contrary to this review, a review of the Linda Vista location would not be a good one. Bad service, snooty staff, etc) (726 characters)

Photo of squaremile
3.14/5  rDev -24.5%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5

Hit the Ballast Point taproom up in northern San Diego. The space is in a business park as many SoCal breweries are, and the tasting room is a very very tiny hallway space in the front. They had an OK array of beers on tap and I went for the Big Eye (liked it better in the bottle surprisingly) and the India Pale Lager (which was a bit buttery for me). The server was pretty standoffish and looked pissed, and when I didn't finish my tasters because the room was so awkward they made a face at me. Not a good experience. (521 characters)

Photo of notchucknorris
4.64/5  rDev +11.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5

I absolutely love this place and regret not being able to go for the past few months. The tasting room in Scripps Ranch isn't huge, but it's big enough to comfortably hold a good amount of people. There aren't any chairs and only a few tables, but I think that they make do with the space they have and it never feels uncomfortable there. The beer selection is usually solid and it seems like every time I'm there, they have something new on tap that is worth a try. They always have the usuals (Big Eye, Black Marlin, Wahoo Wheat, etc.) but it's the specials that make this place worth a visit. I've seen Victory at Sea on a random day in the summer, so you never really know what to expect there. (698 characters)

Photo of Ragingbull
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4

This is for the Scripps Ranch location as its our "local brewery" now. The tasting room is small and gets pretty full in the last 30-45 minutes before the tours go. I know tours go at 2 and 5 and I think 10 AM or noon is the other time. Once the tour folks depart there is plenty of space. Talking to the staff they mentioned that they are expanding the tasting room, so things will open up signigicantly. There have been 9 or 10 beers on tap on my visits. 9 both times with a 10th being tapped while I was there the first time. Some of the beers changed between my visits which is nice, but there were also the staples that anchor their board. The service was exceptional in my opinion as the tasting room personnel were attentive, friendly and talked me through the best way to enjoy their establishment the first time I was there. We have taken our out of town guests by to sample and pick a growler already and will likely continue to do so. No food other than the bowl of pretzels. They are in an office park so there isn't much right around there for turning it into an "outing" unless you pile back in the car and move along. Its fine for a "pub crawl" or just visiting for a beer and growler fill however. Everything is clean and crisp. I look forward to seeing what expansion looks like. (1,296 characters)

Photo of sillyhed8
5/5  rDev +20.2%

Much smaller than their tasting room and kitchen, but their knowledge and ability to answer and share what you are tasting. One of my favorite places by far!! (159 characters)

Photo of mabermud
4.29/5  rDev +3.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25

I used to live in Scripps Ranch, and this place fits in well there. Nice atmosphere, many locals. The quality of the beer is grade A, but unless I wasn't paying attention last month, is limited to only Ballast Point beers. The service is typical tasting room/bar service. Not good nor bad. I didn't try the food, but every time I have visited, there has been either a food truck or a food tent set up. I am sure the food is fantastic, especially after you drink a couple Grapefruit Sculpin. The value is on par with all of the other amazing tasting rooms in and around town.

Overall, this is a great place to visit and drink outstanding beer. (644 characters)

Photo of tjensen3618
3.96/5  rDev -4.8%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3

I went here on a recent Beer Tour and the Ballast Point brewery was the that we toured and tasted at. It's a really small tasting area with enough room for people to stand, we had about 20 people on our bus and the inside of the place was pretty crowded.

The tour was informative and we got to check out their very small distilling setup. After the tour we were supposed to taste the 5 or so beers that are considered the regular releases. The bartender was cool and let me have pours of any beer that they had up on the board.

I ended up buying a couple bottles of Sculpin at the end of our tastings and the prices for them were in line with what you'd expect at retail.

A nice small brewery that was nice to visit once, but unless i happen to be a local, which im not, or in the immediate area, it's not really a place that you would make a point of going to more than once. (879 characters)

Photo of mulder1010
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A-- Pretty small I thought. Couple of tables and some TV's with football on it. Counter with the usual stuff for tourists like me to buy!!

Q-- Quality of the stuff and beer was good. Had Sculpin and BA V@S while there. Also bought a 6 pack of Sculpin to take with me.

S-- Good helpful staff and pretty cool people to have a conversation with. Tasters were a $1 but went for pints of what I wanted.

S-- It was SD beer week so a lot more was available. Just Ballast Point beers.

V-- Good stuff. Plain and simple. Worth hitting for a quick 6 pack or a pint. Not big or anything like that but it works. $15 for a 6 pack of Sculpin is a deal. (646 characters)

Photo of guityler83
4.03/5  rDev -3.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.25 | service: 3.75 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Right in the Little Italy neighborhood of San Diego, Ballast Point was easy to find. Parking around the area was more difficult, but if you go during the day or don't mind throwing down a couple shekels for parking, you shouldn't have to walk too far.

When we walked in it was bustling with people (nearing 2PM), luckily we a table of people was getting up from there spot and asked if we would like to sit down. The drinks were ordered right up front when you walk in and the list is displayed on two big flat screen TVs that rotate, which makes it difficult to find what you are looking for if you go through in detail (like I tend to do). But eventually I went with a flight of beers (IPAs, a smoked scotish, and a lager if memory serves).

Food is done in a hybrid-cafeteria style, order with a window then you get a number and they bring it out to you. The food came fairly quick, about two sample size beers quick any way, and was tasty.

From our spots you could see the brewing equipment encased in a glass room, shiny stainless ready to go. I would have liked to talk with one of the brewers, but the place was super busy. The beers where fresh, but nothing mind blowing, they did have a very wide selection.

Overall a great spot for a night out, lunch or just to stop in for a pint. (1,294 characters)

Photo of bcm119
3.88/5  rDev -6.7%
vibe: 3 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

A small tasting room located off one side of the brewery. Tasters, pints and growlers available, as well as bottles and gifts. The space is small and there is only standing room around small tables and a few chest-height bars along the wall. The selection is about half regular beers and half specials or seasonals. I was impressed with the Habanero Sculpin-- it had a great flavor but a little too much burn to be really drinkable. Odd location in a manicured office park. Friendly service. Worth a stop if you're in the area. (527 characters)

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Ballast Point Brewing Company in San Diego, CA
92 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.